ETHIOPIA – The Oromia Industrial Parks Development Corporation of Ethiopia has signed an agreement worth Birr 7.8 billion (US$193.7m), to build a 250ha agricultural processing park in the western highland province of Oromia.

The agreement was signed by Sisay Gemechu, head of the Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation, and Dereje Ermias, head of the Walabu Construction Share Company, a contractor based in Oromia.

According to reports by Ethiopia News Agency, the entire budget required for the construction of the park will fully be covered by the regional government and it is expected to be completed in three years’ time.

The park will attract foreign and domestic investors engaged in agro-processing, majorly targeting international export markets.

After completion, it will accommodate plants to process coffee, tea, oilseeds and grains, livestock products, among many others and create more than 50,000 jobs.

Ethiopia has based its industrialization strategy on the creation of industrial parks, supported by the development of power and transport infrastructure, with the aim of making it the leading manufacturing hub in Africa by 2025.

Ethiopia aims to be the leading manufacturing hub in Africa by 2025

Recently the government cut ribbon to the Bure Integrated Agro-industrial Park in the Amhara regional state, covering over 240 hectares of land.

The Industrial park is now home to the country’s largest edible oil factory, PhiBela Edible Oil Factory with a daily production capacity of 1.5 million litres of palm oil.

PhiBela factory worth Birr 4.5 billion (US$113.7m) was built by the multi-sectoral company, Belayneh Kinde Group and has the potential to cover 60% of the country’s demand when fully operational.

The Bure industrial park is the first among the four pilot IAIPs and Rural Transformation Center facilities to be launched by the government, targeting the establishment of 100 medium and large food processing factories.

The Agroindustry parks are built in different parts of the country with a total investment of over US$730 million.

Meanwhile, the Debre Birhan Industry Park (DIP) in Amhara region which was inaugurated in 2019 welcomed two malting firms in the beginning of the year.

The Soufflet Group, a French family-owned business focused on collecting and adding value to agricultural raw materials kicked started test production at its newly built malting plant.

The new factory will initially produce 60,000 tons of malt and in the longer term it hopes to reach a production capacity of 110,000 tons.

This greenfield investment was closely followed by the opening of the new Birr 2.8 billion (US$71.6m) malting plant, operated by Belgium based Boormalt.

The factory has a processing capacity of 60,000 tons of malt per annum.

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